Last year I had reason to talk with my financial advisor outside our usual check-in. I wanted to cash in part of an RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) – it was doing nothing and I wanted to take a risk on something for my kids. She was not sure I was doing the right thing and did not appreciate me voicing my opinion that the bottom line was doing nothing – had done nothing for the last year. She was quite firm in her explanation: In a year when everyone had lost about 10-12% of investment, mine had held steady. I had, apparently, not lost money on that particular RRSP.
I looked the word investment up at dictionary.com and the first definition is “the investing of money or capital in order to gain profitable returns, as interest, income, or appreciation in value.”
For the last eight years, the word “investment” seems to have taken on a whole new “fly by the seat of your pants” sort of definition. I am supposed to be happy because my investments are not smaller today than they were one year ago? In my e-book “Retirement? 8 Vital Insights” I challenge my readers to keep opening up their investment statements when they arrive in the mail each quarter, to stay on top of their bottom lines. There have been a number of years in the last ten when I was hard-pressed to follow my own advice. My money would have been safer under the mattress! I tried to rationalize that since most of my RRSPs were work-related and employer-matched, it was not my money going down the tubes, it was the employer’s. End result was the same: my retirement plans took a detour!
Recently, I was listening to talk-radio… “it is almost impossible to get any return on investment right now without taking a lot of risk” is what the host, a Certified Financial Planner, stipulated.
Well, I already knew that! I had had no return on my money for several years, and lost money for a number of years before that. The frustrating thing was I had not taken any risks. Other people had been playing the numbers games with my money and lost and I was left out in the cold.
So I got to thinking about what I had been doing with my money for the last two years. It was almost two years ago that I signed on to learn the whole process of developing an on-line business. I have made some good decisions, I have made some not-so-smart decisions, I have made some brilliant decisions!! and I am now seeing successes in my business. I have met some amazing new colleagues, some of whom will be lifelong friends. I am spending my time in a space I love! My decisions are now paying off.
The good news is the money I have put out in the last two years has been risk-free. You see, I was investing in a commodity I knew very well… you might say I had insider information. I was investing in myself. Myself. and I am gaining “profitable returns”: I am getting “interest” from my readers, I receive “income” from my clients and according to my bank account I am appreciating in value.
Next time you open your investment statements – after you wince – I think you should seriously consider starting your own on-line business, creating multiple streams of revenue, and a sustainable source of income. Instead of letting someone else risk the money you worked so hard to earn, take a risk on the commodity you have insider information on – yourself!!!
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Really great analogy. Certainly makes you think about the use and value of money – especially at a time when so many people in the US are still unemployed after spending many years working to build someone else’s wealth.
Looks like we both talked about making money today.
I have always heard that the best investment you can make is in yourself and your learning. I think that more of us need to think about this. Thanks for the reminder, Agnes!
I think too many of us, especially in Canada, just take for granted that there will be enough money when we retire.
I know for sure my kids are spending it faster than I can earn it in their golfing endeavours (but that’s my investment in them).
If it wasn’t for multiple streams of income from my online business I wouldn’t have enough hours in the day to work to keep up.
So many people are relying on the state to provide for them in retirement, they feel entitled. It is far more sensible to take responsibility for your own future and starting an online business gives us the opportunity to do that. Great post Agnes.
The best investment you can make in this business – yourself – great post.
I was once like you Agnes–not opening my investment and bank statements. I had a rough idea of the balances but could not really tell you if I was making or losing money. Then I began learning that one had to have a loving relationship with money and that included being aware of how our finances are doing–within $100 accuracy.
Investment can be a funny thing… It’s not for everyone but it sure is true Agnes..If you don’t take a risk you don’t get very far in life… What’s the worst that can happen? Just remember only ever invest what you can afford to lose that way you will still keep the roof over your head 🙂
I opened an IRA (individual retirement account) when I was 20 years old because everyone was telling me I should open one as soon as possible. I made a few dollars in a few years. That didn’t sound too awesome to me. I know now that it’s a much smarter plan to invest in myself, like you said. Great analogy Agnes. 🙂